The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department and University of Wisconsin System issued statements on concealed carry Tuesday:
Recent school shootings have elevated discussions across the country about gun safety, protecting the rights of citizens, and protecting the safety of our schools. This is a serious issue and there are many questions to consider.
The UW-Madison Police Department and the University of Wisconsin-Madison support existing state law, which appropriately balances individual rights with community safety. We oppose any legislation that would allow citizens to legally carry concealed weapons inside university buildings. Current policies at UW-Madison allow concealed carry on university lands – but not in buildings.
To us, as law enforcement professionals at UWPD, the evidence does not support the idea that our campus would be safer if concealed firearms are allowed in our buildings. In states that allow concealed carry, these mass shooting tragedies have still occurred. According to 2014 FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) numbers, you are less likely to become a victim of a violent crime at UW-Madison – which currently does not allow concealed weapons in buildings – than you are in the state of Wisconsin as a whole.
Allowing concealed weapons inside a building like Camp Randall Stadium, filled with 80,000 people, creates a major security issue. The training required to obtain a concealed carry permit is minimal.
We urge our legislators not to change the existing law. Doing so would put the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and guests at risk.
We take the safety of our campus communities very seriously and know that our legislative partners do as well. We have significant concerns and questions with this proposal and cannot currently support it. We are, however, actively engaged in a dialogue with the legislative authors, Regents, and campus police professionals to ensure our concerns are addressed.